Venezuela discovers a missing cult group waiting for the "end of the world."

VENEZUELA: When María Villamizar learned that 16 people had disappeared in the mountainous town of La Gritta, Venezuela, a famous gathering place for Catholic pilgrims near the Colombian border, she feared the worst.

"It was shocking because we had never heard anything like this here," government employee Vilmizar said Friday, in a farming town of 90,000 people.

On 22 August, when the group left for a religious retreat and left their cellphones behind to avoid being disturbed, they disappeared. More than 160 police officers with the help of dogs and drones were called to trace them.

The group was referred to by the local media as a cult of "religious fanatics" and "supernatural beings" anticipating the "end of the world".

The group, which included a 20-day-old baby, was located at a farm called El Rodeo on Thursday after days of searching in the mountains by police and was safe.

According to Yesnardo Canal, a police officer in the area, agents showed group videos of locals on their phones, which was a matter of concern to them.

According to Canal, the children unknowingly claimed to be famous, but the adults were embarrassed and many of them apologized.
"They were stunned. Their final thought was that it was all a ruckus.

According to police, all 16 were returned to La Grita early Friday and have since been subjected to physical and mental examinations.
Hearing the news, everyone in La Grita felt relieved.

"Thank God they are fine," said Villamizar, as he stood next to the stained-glass windows and a statue of Jesus, whom neighborhood Catholics believe has performed many miracles.

The church's 30-year-old deacon, Davis Marquez, said there were "concerns" and "very crazy principles".
He said the fact that the missing residents of La Grita found their way back was "a great joy" for him.

According to 53-year-old Maria Isabel Rollan, who runs a street stall in front of the basilica and sells paintings and sacred cards, townspeople were discussing the missing group "everywhere you went".

Some parents have expressed displeasure over their children attending the retreat.

When he could not contact his six minor children, the father of the group reportedly called the police for assistance.

Another parent reported that their 13-year-old had left for the retreat without their consent.
"It wasn't a show," declared Yellen Gutierrez, a 13-year-old aunt. "A missing child was one that wasn't sport."

Callum has now returned to La Grita after several days of restlessness.
The city, an important agricultural center in Venezuela, is mysterious to Roman Catholics.

On 6 August, the city is visited by a large number of pilgrims who come to "thank" Christ of La Gritta for his "favour".

Juan Escalante, the mayor of the Jauregui municipality, which includes La Gritta, described the locals as "deeply religious people".
He said that we should welcome these families with an open heart.

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